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Showing posts from February, 2009

Incredible Cavatini for a Crowd

Incredible Cavatini for a Crowd (Among Friends: Keeping Good Company) 1 lb. ground beef 1 lb. medium or mild ground pork sausage 1 onion, chopped 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced 1 (3 1/2 oz.) pkg. pepperoni slices, chopped 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic 1 (28 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce 1 (16 oz.) jar mild salsa 1 (16 oz.) pkg. shell macaroni, cooked & drained 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 4 cups (16 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese ~~~~~ Cook the ground beef, sausage and onion together until meat is done. Add sliced mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are limp. Drain well; set aside Combine the pepperoni, diced tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, salsa and cooked pasta with meat. Spoon half of the mixture into 2 lightly greased (11 x 7 x 1 1/2") baking dishes; sprinkle with half the Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Top with remaining pasta mixture. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, then top with remaining cheeses and bake 5 minutes longer. ~This recipe will serve 12-15 people o

Our Valentine's Day...A Little Late

Yes, I know I'm way behind on doing this post. But I'm doing it anyway:) We did have a really nice Valentine's day this year. We started the day with heart-shaped waffles--dyed pink to boot!! Sorry I didn't get a photo of that. Then we decided to take the kiddos to a nearby town, Tuscumbia, to an old-fashioned ice cream parlor then to the park. The Palace Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop was first built in 1833 as a drugstore. By the 1990's the drugstore was gone and the building was in disrepair. A local couple who had grown up frequenting the drugstore in the 40's & 50's decided to restore it in 2000. It's really a great little spot!! (Aren't those the cutest t-shirts that my sister, Kari , made the kiddos?!!) We had some yummy soup and sandwiches followed by some great ice cream~comfort food! Then we headed a few blocks away to Spring Park. Even though it was a sunny day, it was still pretty cool. But we stayed for a little while and let the kid

A Little More Organizing

The other day while getting my files all organized for this year, I decided it was time to also clean off the catch-all space in our house. Every house has one, right?! Ours is the countertop/bar area in the kitchen right by the back door. It seems like there's always a pile of *stuff* there: mail, coupons, you-name-it... So I thought putting some sort of something to contain the chaos might be just the thing. That way we can still toss things on the counter--but only in the designated spot so the junk is all contained instead of scattered all over the counter. I looked around and found this tray that my mom had given me several years before. Isn't it pretty? I think it's going to work nicely! If we can just be disciplined enough to remember to use it:) It'll almost be a miracle if we can actually keep the countertop this neat all the time: Do you have a space in your house where all of the junk pile up? What do you do about it?

Finally Getting Organized for 2009

Well, I finally got my files from last year cleaned out and sorted. I always dread that little task, but it's never really that bad once I buckle down and do it. And this year was easier than usual. At last I have finally found a simpler way of keeping my files. In the past I kept files individually for all sorts of things: utilities, auto, health insurance, etc... The only problem with that system was that it was always growing. I always needed another file for something else because it didn't fit in any other file. I had way too many files. But last year I found a system that worked so much better for me. I purchased a small expanding file~I think it has 13 pockets in it. That gives me one for each month of the year and one extra for miscellaneous stuff. This way I simply file any paperwork for that month in that month's pocket. How easy is that? And the whole file is small enough to fit neatly on my desk. At the end of the year I just go through my little file and sort

Menu Plan Monday: February 23rd-28th

Hmmm...What to cook this week...that's sort of how I feel this morning. It's been a super busy (but good!) weekend and I am a little behind on the dinner plans for the week. A couple of my menus got bumped (yet again) last week, so at least there's a couple of nights already planned. I'm putting the bumped menus at the beginning of the week this time so they don't get bumped again:) The cookbook from my *collection* that I'll be using this week is Among Friends: Keeping Good Company . If you haven't seen their cookbooks, you should check them out. They not only have delicious recipes, but they are so beautiful to look at. Each recipe is a work of art! I'm also getting brave and trying my Grandma Tapp's chicken & dumpling recipe. I love chicken & dumplings and unless my mom makes them it's hard to get a good bowl. I hesitate to order it in restaurants, because it's always so disappointing to get it made with canned chicken. It ju
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6: 26 This is a fat little mama cardinal who lives at our house. Isn't she adorable?

A Trip To The Old Fort Museum

A couple of weeks ago when we were in Arkansas I thought it would be fun to take the kiddos on a field trip to The Fort Smith Museum of History. Fort Smith is our hometown, where myself and both of my kiddos were born, so I thought it's never too early to get started on its history. :) Fort Smith was built right on the edge of Indian Territory, so we got started at the Native American exhibit. We stopped to stone grind some cornmeal. That was a big hit! We moved on into the Telephone Room. That was a lot of fun!! There were all kinds of telephones showing its progression through the years. There were some that you could call each other on and watch the inner workings of the phones. There was even an old switchboard for the kiddos to play on (they had other, nicer antique switchboards that you couldn't play on). This was the kiddos' favorite room in the whole museum! Here we are with Nana looking at a beautiful antique quilt. I come from a family of quilters, so we love to l

Slow-Cooker BBQ Ribs

Slow-Cooker BBQ Ribs 3 1/2 lbs. pork loin back ribs 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 3 Tbls. liquid smoke 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 medium onion, sliced 1/2 cup cola 1 1/2 cups bbq sauce ~~~~~ Spray the inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Remove inner skin from ribs. Mix sugar, salt, pepper, liquid smoke and garlic; rub mixture into the ribs. Cut ribs into 4" pieces. Layer ribs and onions in slow cooker. Pour cola over ribs. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours. Remove ribs; drain and discard liquid. Pour bbq sauce into shallow bowl. Dip ribs into sauce. Place ribs back into slow cooker. Pour any remaining sauce over ribs. Cover and cook for 1 more hour. I can't remember where I got this recipe, but we've enjoyed it for a few years now. The flavor is really good! My only problem is sometimes the ribs I cook are tough. Do you all have any good tips on how to buy tender ribs? Are there any sure bets? I'd love to know because I

I Couldn't Resist...

...picking up this bouquet at Aldi's for .99 yesterday.

Some Cookies & An Award

The recipe for these cookies arrived from Martha Stewart in my inbox today and I just had to try them. So yummy!! This past week Roberta Anne at Little House In The Desert gave me this sweet award. Thank you, Raggedy Girl! The rules for this award are the following: 1. Put the award up on your blog. 2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you. 3. Nominate at least seven other blogs. 4. Add links to these blogs on your blog. 5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog Personally, I'd like to pass this on to all of the wonderful followers of this blog ! Y'all are such an encouragement to me and I enjoy keeping up with you at your blogs, too. So grab this award and display it proudly!

Fun Cooking With Kids....Sort of

In my previous post on this week's dinner plans I talked about getting out one of my childhood cookbooks, Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Boys & Girls . When I showed it to The Princess, she really wasn't into choosing a main dish, just desserts. So I thought I would pick one out, right? So I choose this one: the No-Crust Wide-Eyed Pizzas. It was a sort of pizza-seasoned hamburger patty topped with a funny face. Well, making them went pretty well. They kiddos had a good time putting on *their* face. Cute, right? I thought so anyway and they did, too. I was just hoping they would taste good, too. I served them with some French fries and ketchup. They were okay--nothing spectacular. The Princess ate a little of hers, but Mr. B wouldn't touch his. He did pick off the face and pinch off the cheese though. Obviously my hope that they would eat something they helped prepare didn't pay off. Nana Trish commented today that my kids must be good eaters. Well, I hate to admi